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Food for Life is a global initiative of the Hare Krishna movement which stands as the largest vegetarian food distribution program worldwide. With a presence in over 60 countries, it embodies the ethos of Vaishnava charity, offering meals to millions daily. 

At Hare Krishna Melbourne, inspired by their founder Srila Prabhupada’s vision, Food for Life has been a pillar of our community support since the 1970s. Since then, providing vegan and vegetarian meals to the needy and homeless, their efforts extend from their Albert Park Temple to Melbourne’s CBD. They are renowned for their unwavering commitment to alleviating hunger and fostering a sense of belonging in times of need and crisis.

How did Food For Life Begin? 

Hare Krishna’s Food for Life (FFL) is the world’s largest vegetarian food program and operates in over 60 countries, embodying Vaishnava traditions of charity and the distribution of pure, healthy, and nutritious food to those who need it the most. Celebrated globally, Food For Life is a modern revival of ancient hospitality and equality values.

Founded on the vision of Srila Prabhupada, Hare Krishna’s Founder, Food For Life began with his 1972 declaration that no one should go hungry within ten miles of an Hare Krishna temple. This sparked Hare Krishna’s global network of free food services, including restaurants and mobile distribution.

In the decades since, Food For Life has had a significant impact in multiple countries around the world. Hare Krishna temples globally, including the one in Melbourne, have worked hard to uphold that original promise by providing nutritious meals to the homeless and vulnerable. 

The Impact Food For Life Has Had Worldwide 

Food For Life has made a profound impact on communities all over the globe over the past 50 years. 

Notably, in India, Food For Life collaborates with the government on the ‘Mid-day Meal’ scheme, serving over 1.2 million school children nutritious lunches which has been crucial for keeping impoverished children in school. 

Additionally, Food For Life is active in disaster relief, providing food and hope during crises such as the Indian Ocean Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, demonstrating a steadfast commitment to fighting hunger and supporting education.

…I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. – Steve Jobs

Food For Life and Steve Jobs 

Steve Jobs, the late founder of Apple, once recalled how Food For Life helped him during his time as a poor college student. Shortly after dropping out of Reed College as a young man, Jobs would walk up to 7 miles (11.2 kms) every Sunday night to enjoy a meal at the Hare Krishna temple. Because of those meals, he was able to keep himself fed during a difficult period of his life with the rest, as they say, being history. 

Food For Life in Ukraine 

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Food For Life has distributed over 2.3 million meals to refugees, displaced people, and other vulnerable groups who have been affected by this conflict in cities all around the country. This monumental effort has helped thousands of people remain fed during these unprecedented times in their lives, and the bravery of the FFL volunteers speaks to their unwavering commitment to the mission. 

Food For Life in Africa 

In Chad, where hunger is rising at an alarming rate, Food For Life aims to provide 15,000 free nutritious meals each and every day. This way, the people of Chad have access to food that is often so scarce for them.

After the 1997 Mozambique floods, Food For Life volunteers braved the waters and ferried over vegan stews to villages that had been cut off from major supply chains. These are just some of the ways in which we have provided hunger relief to the people of Africa. 

Food For Life Melbourne 

Hare Krishna Melbourne’s Food for Life program has been a cornerstone in feeding Melbourne’s needy and homeless. Embracing Prabhupada’s vision, “Let every hungry man in Melbourne come and eat,” volunteers have tirelessly provided an average of 7000 vegan and vegetarian meals a week throughout Greater Melbourne.

This organisation has become synonymous with compassion and community support, distributing thousands of free and low-cost meals weekly. Our efforts notably extended to critical times, like the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-21, highlighting their commitment to aid in crises.

Food for Life’s kitchen in Albert Park Temple offers free meals thrice daily, every day, to anyone who needs a delicious, nutritious meal. Similarly, Crossways Restaurant in the city provides affordable, all-you-can-eat meals to the community. Sundays see a collaboration with the City of Port Phillip and South Melbourne Market, offering free meals at South Melbourne Market from 5 pm.

This enduring effort by Food for Life Melbourne not only addresses hunger but also fosters a sense of community and belonging, offering a haven of care and sustenance for those in need. Their presence signifies more than just food provision; it’s a beacon of hope and solidarity in Melbourne.

Donate to Food For Life Melbourne 

Food For Life Melbourne continues on the generous support of donations. If you are willing and able, any donation to Food For Life Melbourne helps our team of volunteers provide free and low-cost meals to those in this city who need it the most. 

Donate Now

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